Bearwood Road improvements

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.14.37Over the next few weeks we will be consulting on some proposals for improvements along the length of Bearwood Road. The initial proposals are based on various suggestions we have received over the last few years, and include items like improving the physical environment, making things easier and safer for pedestrians, and some items like new waste bins, street lighting and general maintenance improvements. These are outline proposals are designed to kick off the consultation and some may not even be practical or affordable in the financial package – but we want to start the conversation.

The draft of proposals can be downloaded here and there is some more detail on some maps here and here which may not reproduce too well on all computers, but if you would like a copy by e-mail, let us know via There is also a response form to enable Abbey Ward residents to comment on the existing proposals and submit ideas of their own, that can be downloaded here.

We are holding two public consultation sessions at:

St Mary’s Church Hall

Wednesday 17th September

6pm – 8pm


Bearwood Baptist Church

Saturday 20th September

Rawlings Road

9am – 12 noon

Abbey Ward councillors and Sandwell Council Officers will be present to discuss the issues and hear your views and with some larger scale maps.

Again, for people unable to get along, fill in the feedback form or e-mail us your views and suggestions to

For Traders only


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26 Responses to Bearwood Road improvements

  1. Michael Biffen says:

    Knowing the problems with vehicle parking along the whole stretch of Bearwood Road and thinking outside the box what is the possibility of compulsory purchasing the Aldi car park and opening it to the general public without the implied restriction of shopping in Aldi. Could limit it to 90 minutes free then £1.00 for every hour after ” no chance then of the £70.00 charge for overstaying”.

    • Bob says:

      Michael, I doubt a court would support any attempt to CPO that land, I’m afraid. Of course, you don’t have to purchase from Aldi at all to park there, which is an improvement on previous owners. Incidentally, I find you can park in Poplar Road or Wattis Road almost any time on a Mon-Fri daytime.

      • Michael Biffen says:

        Notice in Aldi car park says For Customers only. I know this is ignored by the majority of people but woe betide you if you exceed the 90 minutes as I know to my cost.
        Keep up the good work
        Mike Biffen

      • Bob says:

        Thanks Mike

      • Steve says:

        Its worse than that. Aldi don’t own the car park, they lease it with the store from the people who own it. If there was a CPO, it would be with them not Aldi.

  2. John Kelly says:

    Hi Bob,

    When is the Rawlings Road meeting? (You’ll put the date in now and make this post look silly).


  3. Ziba Bayley says:

    A pedestrianised area always seems to work, Flowers along the high street, more seated areas and yes I agree a car park – people would come if there was somewhere they could park and a reason to visit… it requires a design overhall too. We need to ask the questions who comes to Bearwood and how can they be served, who would we like to come to Bearwood and how can they be served.
    That’s where lightwoods park house could really help if we want visitors from the outside we need art and something to be know for: Art, Social events: local trades: markets… who are we and what do we offer that is unique – what is our USP? PS Lightwoods park needs an excellent tea room / cafe / ice cream parlour, cake shop, delicatessen – all selling local produce etc … pronto 🙂 Then when they have wondered around our beautiful park – they can take a walk down our beautiful high st, visit the lovely local shops restaurants spend some money on the wonderfully produced local products.
    Will there be an event room at Lightwoods house that people can hire???
    Okay I’m done. 🙂 Apologies is I am speaking the obvious.
    Basically I’m thinking the mac but better – Lightwoods style so reflecting it’s history.
    Errm anyway just contributing my thoughts 🙂 I am sure these and many more have been considered already – I am new hear after 20 years away.

    • Bob says:

      Some good points, Ziba, and very welcome. I think you’re right about the use of the House stimulating the local economy. It won’t be for another 18 months or so though, until the House and park get the £4.4 million facelift… so perhaps not quite ‘pronto’ I’m afraid. But a cafe and community rooms for meetings/film shows/theatre productions are all in the plans, as well as things like wedding and birthday parties. The current plans are about what we can do with a million pounds to try to make the environment around Bearwood Road more attractive. When you think that the ‘Portas’ pilots only had a £100,000 stimulus, we should be able to do something with a million. Thanks for your points, Ziba.

      • Ziba Bayley says:

        Thanks Bob. Wow a fab investment and planning – I really look forward to it. I will be interested to hear what comes up at the meeting for the 1 million. It seems to me that there is a great balance of creative and cerebral folks here, in Bearwood, I’m sure we can make it a success.

  4. Lesley says:

    Yes I agree….The biggest issues for me living directly off the high street are the litter which drives me crazy…I regularly go out onto my road and collect a bag full of rubbish…and then there’s the empty shops. They are such an eye sore and make the high street look really tatty. The amount of cheap eatery’s that pop up and then disappear is increasing……. for me I just want a clean and tidy high street….I was thinking about moving but remain connected to Bearwood and want to stay so really welcome any potential changes….

    • Bob says:

      Agree about the litter, Lesley, it drives us barmy too! We have to spend a small fortune every morning cleaning up mess that people with a little thought could just put in the bin, or take home and bin it. Don’t they understand they are paying to have it cleaned? The side roads are bad because the wind drives their litter off Bearwood Road too. We can’t stop fast food eateries, although with only 6.5% of shops being takeaways, it does mean there’s only one fast food shops for every 16 shops. We don’t own the shops, so we cannot let them, nor choose who the landlords do let to I’m afraid.

  5. Jenny Pugh says:

    I think the pedestrian crossing by St. Mary’s Road would be better moved to the other side of Rutland Road as it is too near to the one by Aldi, but there is a long gap between that one and the lights at the Bear.

    Would there be any way of getting rid of the bus station (I never see many people waiting there), and perhaps extending the park or creating a nice area to sit on that site?

    • Bob says:

      I agree about the pedestrian crossing, Jenny, and actually think it could be removed altogether. The Highways officers don’t agree with me, but I’ll feed that in. If we were designing the bus station from new, I don’t know whether we would put it there, but Centro regard it as an important interchange with the No.11 and No.9 showcase routes, and they run the bus station. A couple of people mentioned it last night (albeit residents of Herbert Road who have good cause to want to get rid of buses down their road) so it’ll be fed in – but much as we want to do it, I doubt we would get agreement.

      • Jenny Pugh says:

        That’s a shame because you have the large space where the workmen’s huts were, and if the bus station wasn’t there, something could be done to incorporate the park with the high street.

      • Bob says:

        True Jenny, but it is what it is. One of the things we are looking for suggestions for is the area where the site compound was. It is a possibility we could demolish the disused toilet block, and chop down those scratty horrible trees and make a bigger area. We know we want to get the Kings Head clock back on that site, and we’ve had some suggestions for the rest of the area.

  6. Dave Marsh says:

    From what I’ve seen so far It looks good but what’s the point in going to Bearwood to be stalked by parking attendants waiting to pounce at every opportunity its off putting to any visitor. Oldbury and Blackheath are similarly infested with them whatever you do to improve the high street make it viable to visit when its finished.

    • Bob says:

      Dave, if we didn’t have parking restriction, enforced by wardens, we would have people parking in Bearwood all day and commenting by bus in to Birmingham…and then you would find no-one could park to shop. There are actually loads of places to park for a couple of hours near the shopping centre, with no restrictions…but you might have to walk a hundred yards. Less than 10 seconds for Usain Bolt, but only a minute or so out of most people’s lives.

      • keithbracey says:

        Hear hear Bob……a short walk never hurt anyone……trouble is nowadays people don’t want to walk and want to park right near the shops……Bearwood folk should try Harborne… have to pay to park everywhere and a short walk from St Mary’s Road, round the back is always necessary…..who knows you might get a little fitter if you walked a little further and it might help with the obesity problem in society…..????

      • keithbracey says:

        Bob, I will see you later at Bearwood Baptist Church for the Bearwood Road Improvements Consultation…….I hope our robust political debate on Facebook last month has not coloured (Green….?) our friendship? Fair play to you Bob, you are doing a good job in Bearwood, and I include Ann and Steve in this…….petty party political differences should never get in the way of good banter amongst friends…..and what’s more you are a Villa fan like me……Just think if we beat Arsenal at Villa Park later today we will be TOP of the Premier League…..who’d have thought that in the dark days of last season when Lerner put the club up for sale….still think having Roy Keane on board has made a huge difference…..sign Roy up till 2018 like Lambert…..that’s the key! Come on you Lions! Up the Villa!

  7. Dave Marsh says:

    Restrictions are fine sitting looking at your watch with a camera ready to pounce is another, a little fairness in their dealings with the public would pay dividends- and no I’ve not been booked and I don’t mind a walk.

    • Bob says:

      I agree 100% Dave, and I would not only not condone that, I would call for anyone given a ticket for being a few minutes late to appeal, and if they contact me I would support their appeal.

  8. Mike Jones says:

    IMHO the crossings are confusing and therefore unsafe… They don’t have a clear ‘green man’ sign and don’t bleep when it’s safe to cross.

  9. Michael Biffen says:

    With the number of crossings on Bearwood Road would it be possible to syncronise them so that the Green Man shows on all at the same time. I realise this could mean traffic stopping when there is no one to cross but this happens now when people get fed up with waiting.
    Keep up the good work but please remember that Bearwood road extends further than the Bear lights.
    Mike biffen

  10. mickeycool34 says:

    It may have something to do with local transport links. From the Blue Gates side of Smethwick it has been without a direct Bearwood bus for 4 years and many of us have stopped going. The nearest link to Bearwood is a very good walk away up and down hills. Some might need Bearwood so go by car. I know a similar case for Oldbury msny by me shop in Sainsburys but as there is no bus they go by car in fact every house at the top of the hill has between 2-4 cars which maybe contributing to congestion in Bearwood as there is no Birmingham bus for quite a walk so they may need the car. I know a similar situation in parts of Warley. Bus stops that used to be full 4 years ago I only see odd people as Bearwood Oldbury West Bromwich have the main High St shops so people need to get there. I used to go a lot to Bearwood but now as the buses don’t touch our area and its complicated to get to and from. I would suggest a number shop in Bearwood but live to far to carry shopping and often mught be elderly or disabled or lives a good 30mins+ walk away. Getting better transport serving Bearwood to areas people live in off the main road benefits Bearwood and those shopping. Many bus routes into Bearwood dont serve a number of places same happens in Oldbury from me its a 6min car journey but a 30mins one with numerous changes. Just a thought

  11. mickeycool34 says:

    In my opinion there are facilities people need over our section from Bearwood and facilities in Bearwood such as the swimming centre we need so it seems none sensical to not connect the two especially through the Warley section but also via Bearwood Rd to High St/St Pauls Rd without having to keep switching buses

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